I began pureeing foods when my son was 6 months old. His first food was pureed organic peas, and he loved them. As he grew and began to try more foods, I began pureeing veggies that are easy to mix in with foods he likes.
Pureeing is a great way to make use of leftovers and preserve veggies before they go bad. For example, we always buy organic baby spinach at the beginning of the week. By Thursday if we have not enjoyed it all, it begins to wilt. This is when I typically puree and freeze the spinach so it doesn’t go bad, doesn’t get wasted, and can be enjoyed later.
Prepare the following purees as directed. Once they are cooled to room temperature, fill small freezer bags with 1/2 cup of puree and freeze until needed.
Remove stems, cut in half lengthwise, and remove seeds by scraping with a spoon. Roast the halves, flesh side down, on a cookie sheet for 50 minutes at 400F. Drizzle a little olive oil on the flesh for additional flavor. Remove from the oven and puree in a blender for 2-3 minutes. Add a little water if needed.
Nutritional benefits: antioxidant, carotenoids, zinc, magnesium, potassium, fiber
Add to: pancakes, waffles, breads, muffins, grilled cheese sandwiches (if using a yellow or orange cheese), French toast, macaroni and cheese, cakes, quesadillas, smoothies
It is not necessary to cook baby spinach. Simply place it in a blender with a little water and puree for 2-3 minutes.
Nutritional benefits: folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium, flavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin K
Add to: smoothies, spaghetti sauce, breaded meats (add spinach to egg mixture for panko-crusted fish or chicken, for example), pizza sauces, burgers, lasagna, dark cakes (chocolate or spice)
Place a collapsible steamer basket in a pot with about 1-2 inches of water on the bottom. Cover and bring to a boil. While the water is preparing, cut florets of cauliflower and discard the stems. Once the water is boiling, put the cauliflower in the steamer basket and steam for 8 minutes. Keep an eye on the water and add more if it appears to evaporate. Drain cauliflower and puree for at least 2 minutes with a little water (I use the remaining water from the pot).
This is the easiest veggie to hide in food. It’s almost clear and often tasteless. It has a nice creamy texture too.
Nutritional benefits: vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber
Add to: grilled cheese sandwiches (if using a white cheese), macaroni and cheese, chicken salad, smoothies, scrambled eggs, banana bread, pancakes, muffins, mashed potatoes, quesadillas, deviled eggs, soups, burgers, meatloaf, tuna salad, lasagna, cakes, breads
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